VOTING: Sight loss must be no barrier

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Did you know that at the general election, while many people will exercise their right to vote with ease, some may find it hard to vote independently or in secret?

Following the 2015 election the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) found that 50 per cent of people with sight loss were unable to exercise their democratic right to vote in secret. The voting process was not accessible to them.

On June 8 local authorities have an opportunity to ensure that everyone is able to vote, including blind and partially-sighted people.

Northumberland County Council is required to make sure that every polling station provides the correct tactile voting templates and large print ballot papers for blind and partially-sighted people. Polling station staff must also know how to use them so they can help.

If you have a blind or partially-sighted person in your family, or know someone who has an eyesight problem, let them know that voting can be easy and stress-free.

The main thing is go and vote.

John Anderson,

Northumberland Low Vision Action Group (NAG)